Thursday, June 24, 2010

Yummy Wax

I've been playing in the wax again. This weekend in Lake Oswego we are having a big encaustic celebration. You can read about it here. Our local International Encaustic Artists Group has worked hard to put this show together and I am excited to see it. I've been out of the loop for awhile; missing the meetings due to first my teaching schedule and then my surgeries so I missed getting anything in the show. But hey, I have this place to show and tell so there you are.

Here is where the magic happens. Pigments and brushes and wax; oh my!

I'm not showing the entire paintings right now. I want to get a good hand full of them and then offer them for sale here as a little experiment. I've been too tired after teaching to sign up for a table at the retreats. And I could send them to the galleries. But this is an idea I've been toying with for awhile.

We got up to 82 degrees yesterday. It was such a joy to have the window open, the exhaust fan humming, the studio perfumed with the fragrance of beeswax. I am talking better now and getting used to the new feelings around the surgery sites. I am loving life again and allowing myself to believe that I will go on with vigor. 

On Father's Day we went for a hike and it was cool and misting which is why I am wearing 2 coats. It was fun.

And afterward we had a little seafood at a great restaurant in Hubbard called Mariscos Morales. Highly recommended.

What I have learned recently: the human body is the most amazing organism. It adjusts and heals in ways that are nothing short of miraculous. It wants to be well.

The other thing I have finally grasped is that as artists we are forever in a state of uncomfortable growth. Just as we reach one level, the one we thought would make us happy forever, we find that we've already sensed a higher level, a larger challenge that we cannot yet accomplish. It doesn't go away. I'm afraid we are doomed to be growing and reaching and wanting more and never finding a stopping place. What do you think of that?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Eat Drink and Play

The studio is buzzing with hopeful ideas. My goal today was to put the wax area back in order so that after Father's Day I can return to encaustic. But first! First I had to prep some journal pages, write in other journal pages, cut a new stencil, scan family photos (coming soon) and do my vocal exercises. The pages above are backgrounds; fingertip painting being one of my favorite techniques. Fingertips make the kind of marks that I like.

These are the pages that were formerly watercolor shapes. This is the next incarnation. But not the last.

Happy shapes. Birthday cakes and doilies. That's what I see. Mmmm, pink and yellow, kissed a fellow. You won't recognize any of this after I add photos, words, my very important thoughts.

The reason I write so much and so small is because I am procrastinating (lol). If I stop painting for any length of time I lose my momentum. The more I get in the studio and work, the more the ideas come. So right now I'm priming the pump following the long interruption.

Asking myself where I left off. Except I'm not there any more. I'm in a new place and I'm still trying to figure out where.

Meanwhile, John brought me a plant of blooming gardenias. I think I'll just go bury my nose in one of those blossoms and say a little prayer for things that smell good in the summer.

Thinking of Fathers Day. We all have a Daddy. Not one of them was perfect but each of them gave us a life. I'm grateful for mine and I hope you are too.  xo

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Checking In

Here is my latest cage doll Santo (is a girl saint a santa? that's weird!!). Anyhoo, she's consigned to necklace duty in the bedroom and John says she is scary. He says when we fall asleep her head twirls around like Linda Blair's. I sorta hope so.

Journal pages. I'm going to start showing some in process as requested. I like to start them not having any idea where they are going and then watch them morph. I wrote about improv this morning and how much I love reacting to the moment in teaching; being willing to change course and responding to surprise. The journal pages are like that too.

I've uncharacteristically cooked supper 2 nights in a row. John just announced that he is cooking supper tonight. hmmmm. Is my cooking that bad?  hee hee. (we know it is)

At the last garage party I noticed Nikki stored all her craft paints upside down so I came home and flipped mine over too (I keep them corralled in a box). Now i can see the color at a glance and the paint is ready to come out the tip when I need it. I feel like the 100th monkey.

And who's got the messiest studio? I can't seem to get it under control no matter what I do but I won't give up. I still have that recurrent dream of finding an extra room on our house. Actually we need about three.

Random studio shots. 

Raku doll from about 20 years ago. I am still partial to her guardian spirit. Monoprint in the background.

Oh yeah. I need professional help.

This is a collage made by a friend of a friend. I thought it was really fun and so Portland.

Here is a little personal story if you have time. Over 30 years ago, when I was a broke young mother, I had a flat tire on a lonely country road. Both my young daughters were in the car with me and we were driving home after a school day. So there I was, without resources and stuck. Soon I see an old man driving from his farmhouse to help me. He fixes my tire and it takes about an hour. I wring my hands and thank him and tell him I wish I had money to give him as it has taken precious time out of his work day. I am so grateful. 

And he says, "if we aren't here to help each other, what are we here for?"

I will never forget that day, that incident, those words. He is surely gone now but here is his action, his words, living on and rippling out in a hundred directions. xo

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

A Week in Review

Yesterday I went to my first session with the voice therapist. She has great confidence in me. The exercises I have to do are quite strange. After a lifetime of using my voice without a second thought it is odd to have to do it a deliberate way. Or to practice how I breathe and vocalize.

I don't so much like the way I sound now. It's like having an old face when you feel young inside. It doesn't match.

I'll get the hang of it in time and I know it. I'm learning every day about softening up and accepting what is. When I feel the resistance I just breathe deep and relax. Release what happens in the future and deal with right now.

I got an email asking if I use watercolor sometimes for the background in my journals and the answer is of course. I like to mix it up. This is a page I painted ahead in watercolor that I'll be writing on soon. By then I may add acrylic to it of course. But I like to start off with anything other than a blank page. Much more interesting then to layer up the changes.

Here is the heart of my heart; my grandson. I should put a black square over his eyes for privacy but oh I cannot resist showing you his beauty. Now I understand why my parents used to haul me around and make me meet all their friends. I just cannot resist saying, "isn't he wonderful?" So in this case, check out the waist length hair. He's decided to say good-bye to the ponytail.

Methinks the cutter is slightly gleeful to be removing such a trophy of hair. Propaganda Salon for you Portland people. Wonderful salon; the best. (Don't judge by me; I cut my own hair and haven't the slightest idea of what I'm doing.)

Bye bye beautiful hair. 

Clean cut now. Ah, youth!! So fair and fleeting.

Random studio photos. iPhone Lo Mob above. 

I love to see other people's studios so here is a corner of mine today.

This is the kind of thing we eat at our house. Do you know what it is?

This is what it looks like on the inside.

And this one. Reconize it?

Love made visible. From my dear Pancho.

My sewing skills. I know, ha ha ha ha ha.
It's a scarf.

The answer to the quiz is spiney chayote and xochonostles.

Make is a good one. xo